LIZ BLIZZARD, THE LAST 20 YEARS
Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
We, as painters, seek out and make visual poems of our wonder and yearnings.
We tend to them as we would gardens and they become part of our spirits
– we nurture and connect with these places –our spaces,
our landscapes, whether they be external or internal. They can be wild
journeys into far distant places or right in our own back yards, our
own intimate gardens.
Liz Blizzard’s journeys are Australian in essence, and they are
not tame but passionate engagement with place and matter. Henry David
Thoreau, the founding father of environmentalism, would have approved
when he said ‘in wilderness is the preservation of the world.
To become tame’, he cautioned, ‘is to invite atrophy’.
Liz journeys far and wide searching for the wildness, yet it is inside
her. Part of her brave quest – not a tamed one – to capture
the vastness of this old continent.
In these paintings we see an eye for looking outwards [almost a philosophy
here] finding distant horizons, vast planes. This is ancient land. Liz
paints it like erupting volcanoes, a land burnt and evolving.
Liz’s line is dynamic; it draws us into shimmering space. This
is a mystical space – elevated, a way of being.
This vigorous line is directed. It does not vacillate; it commits itself
to the picture plane.
It is also about human commitment to an idea; an idea of landscape –
which is passionate but never half-hearted.
This is the art of authentic engagement with loved forms. It is not
about novelty. It is not didactic based on French theory so unrelated
to our culture and philosophies – our Australianness.
Liz Blizzard deals with a journey she has set for herself. One of deep
involvement with the landscape she lives in and loves. This is an authentic
experience that seems hard to find in these cyber-times.
Liz weaves the skeins of colours in a rhythmic dance. We are aware of
the creative energy and life force in her paintings.
Rilke the poet called music ‘audible landscape’. These landscapes
are visual music, especially in their colour dynamics.
Van Gogh called himself an arbitary colourist who distorted shapes and
objects consciously. These were decisions for the intensity of the picture.
The realism he wanted was a heightened truth, not photographic accuracy.
He said ”My great longing is to learn to make these very incorrections,
these deviations, remodellings, changes of reality, so that they may
become, yes, untruth, if you like. But more true than the literal truth.”
In these journeys of spirit and matter, we see a heightened form of
colour that seeks to convey more than a literal truth – a deeper
truth about this wild and worn land, this timeless place.
Throughout most of our evolution we have all been as much part of nature
as any animal. Time and culture and consciousness have driven us apart
from our instinctual life where we are connected to all things. Our
separation I feel has created the pollution and destruction of our treasures.
The forests and species so needed for our wholeness. There is an urgent
need to redress the sacred balance that is lost and must be retrieved
if that is at all possible, before it is too late.
Liz Blizzard is engaged in recording our landscapes – keeping
them in our memory. This is not art about art. This is not game playing.
It is a serious quest yet also a yoyful journey into her sites of meaning.
As an artist ambassador for our country she takes our land and shows
it to others, in Korea, Japan, Russia and many other places, which have
been received with great curiosity and interest.
The landscape painting takes its own journey to other places –
the visual poems are a shared part of the landscape.
On that note, I am pleased to declare this exhibition open.
Stavrianos' Opening Speech